So, Tiny Pasture’s got footage of this UCLA student getting told that she should lie about the age of her boyfriend when asked if she wants an abortion. And he’s got news that this “damning” piece of evidence is being used by the Right to (Some) Life crowd to push State Legislators to pass SB 470, which would defund Planned Parenthood.
But the whole thing is really strange.
For starters, you never see the front of the Planned Parenthood building. So, who knows if that footage was actually shot even near the Memphis Planned? I see a sky and some trees. I don’t even hear the traffic on Union. And I don’t see the face of the intake worker, so how can I know if she’s an actual Planned Parenthood employee?
But let’s get on to the second problem. We don’t get to see Lila Rose’s face. But you can get a glimpse of her here on Bill O’Reilly’s show. And she doesn’t look thirteen. Or fourteen. Or fifteen. Or whatever other ages she’s pretending to be when she goes on her little stings (if, indeed, she goes on them all). And she certainly doesn’t sound like a young teenager on her own tape. She sounds like a grown woman pretending to be a young teenager.
So, even if I might be sympathetic to the idea that she’s discovering some wrong behavior on the part of some Planned Parenthood workers, when I try to put myself in the position of the supposed Memphis worker, I wonder what my response would have been. Not because I think it’s right to break the law. If someone in the Memphis Planned Parenthood is faced with an actual 14 year old actually claiming to be impregnated by a 31 year old, she sure as hell needs to report that.
But even from Lila Rose’s own tape, which she has edited to be as damning as possible to Planned Parenthood and to put herself in the best possible light, I hear hesitancy in that worker’s voice, like she’s not sure who she’s being faced with and she’s just trying to get through her part of the job so she can pass Lila Rose along to someone else.
And if you consider what she’s facing, it’s hard to blame her. Workers at Planned Parenthood see women of all ages all the time; not just for abortions, but for all kinds of healthcare. So, here’s this worker standing in a room with a 20 year old woman who’s claiming to be 14, who’s speaking in a weird baby voice. And who wants to have an abortion. That’s what that worker (if indeed it’s a worker and not someone else also lying) sees–a girl who is already obviously not telling her the truth, but who seems pretty sincere about what is obviously not the truth.
Okay, so then there are two types of people in the world who seem like they believe the lies they tell you–con artists and people who have an untreated mental illness. Though Lila Rose happens to be a con artist, why would the Planned Parenthood worker have any reason to think that she was anything other than a woman in need of mental healthcare? And yet, as we know, people with mental illnesses have a hard time getting that care. So, it’s not surprising to me to hear her kind of feeding the delusion, even as her voice seems to give away that she thinks there’s something peculiar here. She’s saying what she needs to say to pass Lila Rose off on someone else.
The whole set-up is so obviously bizarre that I’m not sure we can draw any conclusions from it (though mark my words, it won’t surprise me if this video makes the rounds and convinces the State Legislature to pull funding to Planned Parenthood).
Lila Rose says “I said I was 14 and they said these things to me.” But she’s not 14, so she’s established herself as a liar. Everything else that happens in that video? How can we trust the truth of it? I don’t know that it was shot in Memphis. There, suspiciously, aren’t any good establishing outside shots. I don’t know that she actually talked to a worker at the Memphis Planned Parenthood, because, suspiciously, there aren’t any shots of her face. And I only have Lila Rose’s word that the alleged Planned Parenthood worker believed that Lila Rose was 14 and pregnant and not the scenario which is just as plausible–that the worker thought she was an extremely fucked up 20 year old who was lying about her age and hoped to pass the problem off to someone else.